Eggplant soup is a new one for me. Roasting the vegetables before going into the soup adds depth of flavour to this comforting fall meal. As with most soups, this one gets better a few days out. We ate ours with a little queso fresco on top, but I'm sure some old cheddar would taste good too. Next time I might go for some avocado or crumbled tortilla chips too. Make this one soon, because the tomato and eggplant season is fleeting. And if you've got a nice shiny new pot, this is a great way to break it in.
Roasted Eggplant, Tomato and Black Bean Soupadapted from Smitten Kitchen
4 cups tomatoes, halved
1 large eggplant cut into cubes
1 large onion, quartered
1 head garlic
1 hot pepper, halved with seeds removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp ground coriander
2 cups black beans
4 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
3/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
hot sauce (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap garlic head in tinfoil and drizzle with a little olive oil. Arrange tomatoes, eggplant, onion and hot pepper on 2 large baking sheets that are brushed with oil. Place wrapped garlic in oven as well. Roast 50 minutes, stirring and flipping every 15min. Remove garlic from tinfoil and squeeze the roasted garlic into a heavy, large saucepan. Add the vegetables and before washing up those baking sheets, add about 1/4 cup of water and scraped off any browned bits. Add this "deglazed" water and the stock to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until onion is very tender, about 30min. Cool slightly and working in batches puree in blender until smooth. Return to pot and add black beans. Return to simmer. Serve with queso fresco cheese crumbled on top and possibly a little extra hot sauce. Season with salt/pepper. Enjoy!